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Name: People v. Weeks
Case #: B199849
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 4
Opinion Date: 07/31/2008

The trial court’s Faretta error did not require reversal. Appellant began the proceedings by representing himself, but after two months, told the court he wanted his standby counsel, Mr. Goldberg, to take over. The judge informed appellant that if he lost his pro per status, the court would reappoint the public defender’s office to represent him. Appellant made it clear that if it were between the public defender or remaining pro per, he would continue to represent himself. The court found that appellant’s position was equivocal and revoked his pro per status, appointing the public defender over his objection. Prior to trial, appellant retained counsel, who represented him throughout the trial and sentencing. Neither she nor appellant asked the court to revisit the trial court’s earlier appointment orders. On appeal, appellant contended the trial court erred in reappointing the public defender. The appellate court held that the trial court erred when it refused to allow appellant to represent himself. Appellant’s desire to represent himself was not equivocal. However, the Faretta error did not require reversal. The right of self representation may be waived through silence, equivocation, or abandonment. Here, appellant had an opportunity to make it clear on the first day of trial that his real wish was to self-represent and that he had retained counsel only because the trial court would not allow him to continue in pro. per., but he did not do so.